I pulled out the paper sacks full of seeds I purchased last year and allowed to “rest.” Today they found their new resting place (at least for a time) in mylar sealed bags and will find themselves stored away at the “Roost”.
I put as many seeds as I can into the mylar bags, squish as much air as I can out of the bag, lay the edge of the bag over the edge of my stainless steel work table, and using an old (heavy) iron, I seal the bags…and then set them aside for the seal to cool.
I then lay the bag down on top of my worktable and just iron the whole top of the bag shut. On each bag (before I seal them) I use a marker to write what seeds are in each bag.
Each of the seeds are also in a zippie bag to keep them with like-minded seeds. For those that have been opened, I seal with scotch tape, put them into a baggie, and then into like-minded bags, and then into the Mylar. When they find their way to the “Roost” we’ll have a 5-gallon food safe bucket for them to be stored long term.
We’ve read up on so many various ways of storing seeds long term, but we’ve decided this will be our way. I’m sure “vaults” are wonderful, but they’re also pretty expensive for us. We’ll be going to our favorite wholesale seed store to purchase more this spring and then we’ll again store what we don’t use.
We’ve talked many times about what we believe are the most important seeds that we need to be putting aside based on our climate and our gardening style. By sorting through the various seeds & comparing what we planted to what the yield was, I also have a pretty good idea of what we’ll want more of. Like nearly all gardeners, we’ll want corn, carrots, onions, and tomatoes but that’s where every gardener sort of takes off on their own paths.
We’re always curious about the various gardening climates of our friends, so we’re hoping you’ll add your comments! Some of our other favorites are spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, bell peppers, chili peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, bush beans, yellow wax beans, yellow sweet peppers, egg plant, lemon cucumbers, okra and winter squash.
We’ve been sort of “experimenting” with what grows best for us and trying to save lots of those types of seeds. We’ve not had any success with cabbage and since we eat very little of it, we won’t be storing any more of those than what we already have.
Last season we planted cherry tomatoes and they nearly took over the whole square they were planted in, so we probably won’t re-plant any of those either. We enjoy tomatoes with our salads, but the lettuces quit producing long before the cherry tomatoes did! LOL We’ll stick with the tomatoes that we can jar up, dehydrate & eat.
Some of the various veggies we just don’t eat a lot of, so we know that we won’t be needing as many of those as we would the staples…”the 3 sisters” are a must. One of the things we’re thinking is that corn might be very hard to come by because of it’s various uses commercially as well as for gardening. I’m sure there are people who have a lot more knowledge than we do, but we’re just going by what we’ve been able to learn. Learning is an ongoing process for us, and this includes our selection of gardening foods.
Because we garden with a square foot gardening technique (and love it) we want to choose only the foods we know we’ll eat. I’ve devoted one 4’x4′ square (so far) to herbs, but want to add some additional, medicinal-type herbs to that. We’ve enjoyed the 2 types of thyme, the chives, the stevia, basil and 2 types of parsley, but will need to be more diligent in keeping them trimmed back so they don’t fight for space with each other.
In our particular climate there’s some we just can’t grow very well. I also will welcome any of your thoughts on how to transplant my raspberry and blackberry bushes. Three are only a year old, and two are 2 years old. We’ve never cut them back but just let them grab the fence and do their own thing.
We’d love to know more about the Jerusalem Artichoke. We’ve heard a lot of bad rap about them and have declined to buy the tubers for planting when we’ve seen them at expo’s.
Have any of you had any experiences with them? Do they “take over everything” and then can’t be gotten rid of… like so many reports say? The information we’ve gathered is that they’re called “the poor man’s potato”.
I’ve never planted Jerusalem Artichokes, but have also heard they can take over an area…a thought? ‘Containing’ them, like you would a perennial flower or plant, by using a coffee can to keep the roots/tubers, at least for a growing season? I just got a couple of heirloom seed catalogs in the mail, and can’t wait for gardening season! I’ve never gardened much from seed, so this will be an interesting year for us. I tried last year, but started my seeds too early to use most of the sprouts…lesson learned…Would love to hear more from those who save their own seeds on THAT process as well!
In the Twin Cities area of Minnesota we never know from year to year when spring will arrive. 2010 it was very early at the end of March. This year the cold damp did not end till June. I always can count on early warm soil on the southwest side of my shed. I have planted lettuce against the shed when snow was 3 feet away. I have cleared away the melting snow from my rhubarb as they reach for the sun. I dream of planting zone 6 instead of 4. This past year I tried a 6 pack of romaine lettuce from a garden store and it will be my best lettuce from now on. I bought some seed packets and started them for a fall crop but had a hard time as we had a very hot end of August. Started some in containers in shade and transplanted. . Even dug some and brought indoors in fall. Way more of a long lasting season with those. We get all the extremes I guess with usually 15 days of tropical level humidity and have some weeks of very hot and dry and frost anywhere from mid September to mid October. Spring last frost date is mid May. . I have developed a habit with my tomatoes and squash to plant them in a couple inch depression and then I just fill the hole with water when watering and don’t waste the water where it is not needed and don’t get the leaves wet. I have stopped trying to start seedlings indoors but used the milk jug outdoors winter sowing and that works. Minnesota weather is like Forrest Gump chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.
Amen to that GrammaMary! However, the mountains of Idaho and Montana are worse. One year we had snow on the 4th of July in Phillipsburg, MT. I was not impressed…